Metrics Matter

By Harold Kerzner, Ph.D.
International Institute for Learning, Inc.

Metrics Matter

It is very clear organizations in almost all industry sectors believe that agile, and in particular the Scrum framework, offers great promise in executing their toughest projects.

Yet, as Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber write in their Scrum Guide, “Scrum is simple to understand yet difficult to master.” And, VersionOne’s 10th Annual State of Agile™ Report gives us an indication of how difficult it can be.

According to VersionOne the top five barriers to agile adoption are:

During the past decade, there has been a rapid growth in Agile Project Management practices, not just in IT, but in other types of projects as well. Most of the principles of Agile Project Management practices have provided beneficial results when applied to non-IT projects. While all of this sounds good, there are also some challenges that accompany the growth.

There is an old adage used in project management, namely “You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” Therefore, to manage projects using agile techniques, you must establish metrics to confirm that the benefits are being realized and agile practices are being executed correctly. Fortunately, accompanying the growth in agile practices has been a companion growth in metric measurement techniques whereby today we believe we can measure just about anything. There are good metrics for reporting performance.

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